China starts bribery trial of former China AgBank exec

SHANGHAI, June 18 Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:51am EDT

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SHANGHAI, June 18 (Reuters) - Chinese prosecutors on Tuesday started a trial of a former Agricultural Bank of China Ltd executive suspected of taking around $5 million in bribes, the country's Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

The government has cracked down on official corruption and extravagance in China since President Xi Jinping's appointment last year.

Yang Kun, who was the vice president and deputy governor of the state-owned bank, allegedly took 30.79 million yuan worth of bribes while in office during 2005 to 2012, according to a notice posted on the court's website on Tuesday. The trial of Yang Kun will be held in the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court.

The brief statement did not give any further details.

Xinhua news agency said last year Yang was under investigation for serious violations of the law.

The start of Yang's trial comes within a week of the launch of an investigation into the "disciplinary violations" of the ex-vice-chairman of China's top parliamentary advisory body.

China's top prosecutor is investigating a senior executive with state broadcaster CCTV on suspicion of bribery, the official Xinhua news agency reported earlier in the month.

China's attempts to tackle corruption have also netted high-profile company heads, such as Xu Minjie, an ex-executive director of China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd , who was accused of graft in early June.

Officials at AgBank could not be reached for comment. Attempts to reach Yang were also unsuccessful. ($1 = 6.2090 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Kazunori Takada and Michael Urquhart)

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